Giving a much needed impetus to the tourism prospects of the district, the Chalippuzha at Thusharagiri in the district will witness the first white-water Kayaking competition in South India on August 23 and 24 this year, said its organisers at a press meet here on Tuesday.

The programme titled ‘Malabar River Festival, Thusharagiri,’ is being organised under the aegis of a committee in collaboration with the district tourism promotion council, said V.D. Joseph, chairman of the organising committee. According to him contestants from several states have already started practicing the event at different stretches of the river at Thusharagiri. “The high profile event is expected to invite contestants from different Kayaking nations including Italy and the U.S.A.,” said Mr. Joseph.

The competitions will comprise an ‘Open category’ for professional kayakers, a ‘beginner category’ and a ‘women’s category.’ There will be three types of events and they are Giant Slalom (individual time trial with obstacles), Boaster cross (four kayakers at a time racing downriver) and a team downriver race.

Mr. Joseph said that special attention will be given to safety to ensure a safe competition. “Awareness will also be made about the dangerous aspects of the river and the correct ways to approach them,” he said. Stating that the programme was chiefly aimed at including the Malabar area into the international white-water circuit, the organisers said that it would also help to showcase the event before the local communities in an exciting manner.

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